April 2005 - Posts

I've been playing with the Personal Website Starter Kit a little bit lately. One thing that I didn't like about it from the start was that the content in the default.aspx was largely static, so I set out to make it a little more dynamic. After a little digging in the whidbey quickstarts I decided that a FormView would be looked like the way to go.

I'm trying to keep any modifications simple, so I created a really simple table that would cover the very basic needs of the sections that are shown on the default.aspx:

Content
ContentID
Heading
Content
IsVisible

I then created the basic CRUD procedures that would go with this table, dropped a FormView onto the default.aspx, and created a SqlDataSource to supply it with data. Now, let me say that it is very...what's the word? liberating? to be able to do most of the work in the designer without worrying about the designer nuking stuff. It's almost there. One thing that I thought was missing was the ability to specify one of the connectionStrings from the web.config file as the connection string source - you've got to switch to source view to do that (afaict). Also, the friggin thing doesn't want to work unless I supply a DefaultValue for each <asp:ControlParameter/> in the markup - so what happens when my ID changes?

One other thing that I'd like to see (I know, give an inch, take a mile:) would be the ability to use the same SqlDataSource for many FormViews. As the default.aspx is laid out now, there are 3, maybe 4 areas that would be good candidates for being populated from the Content table outlined above. So if I had FormView2, FormView3, and FormView4, I would like to associate them all with the same SqlDataSource and vary the output based on a different ContentID for each. Right now, it seems like there is a 1:1 mapping between each SqlDataSource and FormView (as the ControlParameter has a ControlID associated with it.) Maybe I should try using a different type of parameter?

More to come...I'll get this eventually :)

Since there are probably going to be a lot of posts about all things Whidbey soon, as people get more and more chance to play with things, I've decided to throw in my two cents about a really cool piece of functionality that I recently used.

ObjectDataSource - too cool, I've been waiting for something like this for a while. This is more my style than using stinkin' DataSets. You can see what I did at bluefenix.net . I built it based off of the Personal Site Starter Kit that comes with vwd on up, so there's still a lot of Lorem Ipsum text in there. Well, pretty much the whole site is Lorem Ipsum text right now, except for the Projects.aspx page.

The page consists of two DataLists, an ObjectDataSource and a SqlDataSource. For the ObjectDataSource, all I did was add a web reference to the website and point the SELECT part of the datasource to the method that had the info that I wanted to display. That worked off my local machine perfectly, but I needed to go thru a proxy at the host to make the webservice work correctly. Getting this working was a simple matter of creating a wrapper to the webmethod that included adding proxy info to the webservice stub class before calling the webmethod. Changing the ObjectDataSource's SELECT section to use the new class that was dropped into App_Code got everything working, locally and in production!

Very cool, indeed.

[ Currently Playing : Imagine - A Perfect Circle - eMOTIVe (4:48) ]

I want to second Jason's nomination (below in bold). This morning I was trying to figure out how to port Sql Express data to Sql Server 2000, and Wally was a big help in getting me there. I got it done, btw.:)

So, thank you Sir Wally!


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Topics discussed:
  • So today's that "420" thing in the mainland, huh?
  • Real-time argument with my co-worker if today is Bob Marley's birthday
  • I'm back on the King Car Iced Tea
  • You want to hear me open a drink?  What the hell is wrong with you people?
  • Thanks to new friends for setting me straight on World Curling Championships
  • Do Microsoft jockeys not know what podcasting really is?
  • My good buddy Wally McClure deserves to be knighted
  • I love Benny Hill, but I never really got Monty Python
  • Public school kids just showed up and excpected a tour of KUAM's station
  • The downside to podcasting: show contents can t be indexed by search engines& yet
  • I want to know how you're accessing my podcasts (RSS aggregators, OS, PC/Mac, do you get it off my blog, etc.)
  • I get > 10x more traffic from RSS aggregators than over the web for my blog
  • Have you ever copied something on one PC and tried pasting it on another PC?  I did.  Duh.
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      [Via Jason Salas' WebLog]

      Who else out there likes a dock better than the standard windows taskbar? I have been using StarDock's ObjectDock for a few weeks now and I think I'm sold. I have hidden my taskbar and I only run a single visible dock at the bottom center of my screen.

      objectdock image

      <snip/>

      [Via Wes' Puzzling Blog]

      Big smile on my face from this one - I recognize the plainer looking icon in the picture above. I knew that Wes was running PostXING (heck, his CodeHTMLer is a big part of it) but it's really cool to see it really there, as one of the few programs he needs "docked".

      I've added a small usability feature based on some recent feedback.

      Now, from the Tools -> Options dialog, you can optionally set whether you would like to automatically create a new post when you hit Post or Post & Publish. I also made some minor UI consistency changes, and removed a superfluous message that showed up in the options dialog in the last release (oops :)

      So, go grab the new PostXING. Enjoy.

      Well, I woke up this morning and found myself back in Roswell, GA. It seems that the Google trip must have been a dream.

      Don't you just love April Fools Day Wally?

      But thanks for the congratulations from a few friends and bloggers (thanks Josh). I appreciate your thought that it might have been possible!

      [Via The CoverYourASP.NET Blog ]

      I got got. Good one, James. And yes, I thought it was possible, too - Dozing Dogs is a pretty good CMS.

      Congrats, James! Always good to see someone you know catch a deal like this. Too bad there are no comments for me to tell him in his blog :P

      See for yourself: "Here we go!" on The CoverYourASP.NET Blog .

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